Mexican Greenhouse business updates - The Packer

Mexican Greenhouse business updates

09/14/2012 02:48:00 PM
Tom Burfield

San Antonio-based NatureSweet Ltd. is basking in the afterglow of a number of changes the company made over the past year and is preparing to launch some new things in the fall, said Kathryn Ault, marketing director.

The company abandoned its Desert Glory Ltd. name about a year ago and renamed itself after its NatureSweet brand. It also moved its cherry tomato product out of red mesh bags to distinctive shaker packs and launched Sunburst yellow cherry tomatoes, which have tripled in distribution in the past 12 months, Ault said.

Early this year, NatureSweet launched a website that focuses on positioning for each of its products: cherry tomatoes — the ingredient tomato; Cherubs —salad tomatoes; and Sunburst — golden sweet snacking tomatoes.

The company introduced a TV commercial in April and plans to bring it back in the fall.

In October, NatureSweet will tie-in its Cherubs with the Susan G. Komen breast cancer awareness program and package tomatoes in a container with a special pink base. NatureSweet will donate $55,000 to the foundation, Ault said.

The company also is coming out with a bonus pack for its cherry tomatoes, which will give consumers an extra 20% extra free by including some of its sweet Sunburst product in the container.

Prime Time adds roma tomato deal

Coachella, Calif.-based Prime Time International is adding roma tomatoes to its Mexican greenhouse and shade house programs this season, said Mike Aiton, marketing director. The company has been selling round and grape tomatoes from Baja California and is adding romas to complement those offerings, he said. They will be available from October through April.

Wholesum Family Farms plans Arizona facility

Wholesum Family Farms, Nogales, Ariz., will open a greenhouse in Amado, Ariz., said Anthony Totta, who handles marketing for the firm. The facility will produce tomatoes, beefsteak tomatoes, tomatoes on the vine and other varieties.

Harvesting should start in October, and production should be in full swing in time for the official ribbon-cutting on Nov. 10, he said.

The first phase is planned to consist of 12 acres of strictly organically grown product. Multiple phases are planned.

The company, which has a major greenhouse and shade house operations in Mexico, recently became Fair Trade-certified, Totta said.

Wholesum Family Farms grows tomatoes, eggplant, green and colored bell peppers, cucumbers and soft and hard squash under the Wholesum Harvest label.

The company plans to add some meatless recipes to its collection at the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit in October.

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